Who makes the hard drives in the new Mac Mini?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gmcalpin, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. gmcalpin macrumors 6502

    gmcalpin

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    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    #1
    I just got a new Mac Mini today, and immediately noticed the hard drive seemed a lot faster than I expected.

    I ran a speed test and this is what she got:
    Screen Shot 2018-11-07 at 2.23.46 PM.png
    Coming from a 2013 MacBook Pro where the write/read speeds were more like 675MB/s and 725MB/s respectively, this was a bit of a surprise.

    The Device Name is "APPLE SSD AP0512M" — so unless their naming conventions have changed, that means… Apple manufactures them? (They make their own drives now?)

    These have got to be NVMe drives at those speeds, right? I hadn't seen anything about that before ordering it; that would have been a selling point for me!
     
  2. KrisLord macrumors 65832

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    #2
    Apple have made their own for a while now since they switched from 2.5” physical drives to simply installing the NAND chips directly onto the motherboard or equivalent.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    They’re not Apple’s own Flash chips. They’re the same ones as Samsung NVMe 970 Pros (or whatever the latest model is). They use the identical chips but different proprietary interface (soldered or non-standard PCIe) so users can’t replace them.

    You’ll also notice the quoted speeds are identical to what Samsung cite.
     
  4. gmcalpin thread starter macrumors 6502

    gmcalpin

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    #4
    Someone on Twitter mentioned the drives exclusively manufactured by Samsung for Apple, hence the AP instead of the usual SM for Samsung-manufactured drives (versus TS for Toshiba).

    I'd like to think they at least made them non-upgradeable in the name of fitting the parts into the case, not just end-user-hostility, but who knows with Apple anymore.

    Anyway, I was quite happy to see that the drive was faster than I expected.
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Certainly Samsung provide them just the NAND chips rather than packaging them how they do for consumers, so in that sense they’re exclusively manufactured for Apple.

    But they’re the same chips in the 970s so the speeds are identical — nothing exclusive there. Regardless, they’re stupidly fast SSDs. :D
     
  6. KrisLord macrumors 65832

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    #6
    I don’t think that makes it a Samsung drive though, there’s only a few NAND manufacturers and so all laptop manufacturers buy from Samsung, intel or a few others.

    The controller is an Apple controller, which is equally important to the NAND if not more so.
     
  7. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I would like to know more about this controller.
     
  8. Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

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    #8
    And a lot of people, myself included, have seen the speed increase a day or so later after Time Machine backups and Spotlight indexing has calmed down. :)
     
  9. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

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    #9
    I think I saw on iFixit that it’s SanDisk?

    Edit: it’s Toshiba.
     
  10. KrisLord macrumors 65832

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    #10

    There’s not really a lot of public info about it as it’s not a controller that’s offered to SSD manufacturers.

    If you search for info about the T2 chip on the new mini it’ll say that includes the SSD controller but beyond that it doesn’t give much detail on it.
     
  11. killawat macrumors 65816

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    #11
  12. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Northeast
    #12
    Cool, thanks!
    --- Post Merged, Nov 10, 2018 ---
    Copy that. A few years ago when I had a 5k iMac, I found out that if one ordered a 512GB SSD, that it would be a Samsung, I think 960 Pro at that time. I love Samsung Pro SSD's and that is all I use. But Apple makes things proprietary whenever they can, so I guess the new mini SSD is a hybrid. Some Samsung and some Apple. I just hope it is a good one. Me, I see no reason to do what they did, as the Samsung Pro 970 is darn near perfect :)
     

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11 November 7, 2018